September, 2018
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Neshaminy supports veterans Tour of Honor

Bucks County Tour of Honor group photo

Forty seven eighth-grade students from Maple Point Middle School accompanied a large group of veterans to Washington D.C. on October 1 for the Bucks County Tour of Honor. The Tour offers veterans the opportunity to visit the war memorials in our nations’s capital during a day trip, followed by a heroes welcome at the Parx Casino banquet facility in Bensalem upon their return.

Neshaminy staff and students have supported the Tour for a number of years. Members of the Neshaminy High School Marching Band regularly perform in uniform as the veterans return from their trip and provided a patriotic soundtrack once again this year. The Maple Point students and their chaperones departed with the Tour at 5 am, then spent the day visiting the memorials with the veterans.
VIetnam Veterans Memorial

Student holding a placard
The students created supportive placards which they displayed during ceremonies held at the memorials. They were able to interact with the veterans and even offered support to other veteran groups visiting the same day.

This trip was one of many activities at Maple Point that incorporates interactive history lessons by supporting veterans. During the year, students participate in letter-writing campaigns to veterans and active-duty military and enter essay contests. The annual Maple Point Veterans Day ceremony, which regularly draws nearly 100 veterans, will be held Friday, November 9 at 12:30 pm.

New committee focuses on the future

The new Facilities and Planning Committee held their first meeting of the school year (and the second ever) at Herbert Hoover Elementary School Wednesday, September 26. The committee was formed last year by splitting the work of the Business Operations Committee to better allow the members of both to focus on increasingly complex agendas, as well as have extra time to consider long-term goals.

The committee includes School Board members John Allen, Bob Feather, Steve Pirritano and Committee Chair Marty Sullivan.

The group will meet at different locations throughout the district during the year in an effort to better acquaint themselves with the issues affecting each building. The meeting at Hoover Elementary started with a tour of the school conducted by Principal Dr. David Glennon and Director of Operations Tim Trzaska.

Among the items on their agenda was a review of new transportation fleet management and equipment maintenance software; discussion of replacing an older model HVAC unit at Sandburg Middle School; a Forest Stewardship Plan for Idlewood Nature Preserve behind Neshaminy High School; security and summer projects updates; and other long-term projects and plans.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for Poquessing Middle School on November 14, 2018.

First Day of School photo galleries

First Day of School photos

Did you see our First Day of School photo galleries? They can be found at the link below along with a video of the first day at several Neshaminy schools.

Board appoints 2 principals

The Neshaminy School Board of Directors approved two candidates for positions as Elementary School Principal at their Public Board Meeting Tuesday, September 25, 2018.

Donald Palmer and Stephanie Washam
Donald Palmer and Stephanie Washam
Stephanie Washam will serve as Principal at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School in Feasterville, and Donald Palmer at Tawanka Elementary School in Langhorne. Ms. Washam is replacing Judy Brown, who retired as Principal at Ferderbar in August, 2018. District administrator Andre Modica is currently serving as Acting Principal at Ferderbar, and will return to his former position as Assistant Principal at Maple Point Middle School once the transition is complete. 

Mr. Palmer is currently serving as Acting Principal at Tawanka Elementary School, replacing Robin Klaiber who left for a Principal position with the Lower Merion School District in August. Mr. Palmer also previously served as Acting Principal at Tawanka during the 2016-2017 school year.

Stephanie Washam will serve as Principal at Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School in Feasterville, and Donald Palmer at Tawanka Elementary School in Langhorne. Ms. Washam is replacing Judy Brown, who retired as Principal at Ferderbar in August, 2018. District administrator Andre Modica is currently serving as Acting Principal at Ferderbar, and will return to his former position as Assistant Principal at Maple Point Middle School once the transition is complete.

Superintendent Joseph Jones III said the selection process to fill these two positions started over the summer. A committee that included administrators, teachers, parents
and School Board members reviewed qualifications and interviewed potential candidates.

“We were impressed by the quality and credentials of the all candidate,” he said. “After careful consideration and input from a variety of stakeholders, we are confident that these two individuals have the leadership capabilities, skills and personalities that will inspire excellence from their staff and students while maintaining strong, caring learning environments at their schools.”

“Mr. Palmer has already demonstrated these qualities in his previous and current roles at Neshaminy, and Ms. Washam is a welcome addition to our District leadership team.

Background information for Ms. Washam and Mr. Palmer can be found at the links below.

Robotics team forming at NHS

Students competing on a Robotics Team at Bensalem High School will be working with a new team at Neshaminy High School this year in a mentorship program. The two teams will compete together in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), which is held regionally, nationally and throughout the world.

During the FRC, teams design, build and operate game-playing robots that compete in a series of tasks which change annually. The robots, which can weigh up to 120 pounds, will be required to complete such tasks as throwing balls and flying discs into goals, placing tubes on to racks, balancing on beams, and maneuvering on a course. Competitions are normally held in gymnasiums, and winning teams can move on to regional or even national competition.

Following the one-year mentorship, the teams at both schools can continue to compete together or Neshaminy can set out on its own.

Discovery Night celebrates music program

Student tries out a clarinet at Music Discovery Night

Students in grades 3-6 and their families were invited to Neshaminy High School September 7 to try out string and wind instruments and find out more about the award-winning music program at Neshaminy. Each music room at the high school featured different instruments, and high school musicians assisted with the demonstrations along with music teachers from throughout the District.

This year, Neshaminy is celebrating a second recognition (two years in a row) by the National Association of Music Marketers as a Best Community for Music Education in the nation.

Join us and help Build Futures!

Do you love working with kids and want to jump-start a career in education right here at Neshaminy? A number of additional opportunities throughout the District for certified and support staff can be found at the district employment site below (updated frequently). All applicants will be  required to obtain Pennsylvania clearances.

The Guest Teacher program offers individuals who hold at least a Bachelors degree (but no active PA teaching certificate) the opportunity to obtain emergency certification to substitute teach in Neshaminy schools. Jump-start a career in education and work when you want! Click the link below for more information, training dates and locations.

Other opportunities include full time, part time and substitute positions to fit a variety of schedules, experience levels and interests.

September We Build Futures Award winners

Superintendent Jones once again honored district staff who made significant contributions to fulfilling the district's mission of advancing the implementation of the Neshaminy Strategic Plan.

Those honored during in September include (click on their names to see nominating information):
We Build Futures award pin

Congratulations to all award winners! More information about the We Build Futures Awards can be found on the District website below.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 11: PTO Forum, Maple Point MS, 6:30 pm
Friday, October 19: Pink Out, NHS (all day and at the football game)
Saturday, October 20: NHS FBLA Club 5K Walk / Run, NHS, 7:30 am
Saturday, October 20: Instrumental Music Mattress Fundraiser, NHS, 10-5
Saturday, October 27: Kaleidoscope of Bands, NHS, 7 pm
Tuesday, October 30: Spooky Kooky public performance, NHS, 7 pm
Friday, November 9: Veterans Day Ceremony, Maple Point MS, 12:30 pm

Please check the District website, school websites and District Facebook page for more information and additional events throughout the year!

Neshaminy Education Foundation logo
Neshaminy Education Foundation

Eagles vs. Giants ticket raffle
2 lower-level seats to the Eagles - Giants game 11/25. Raffle Tickets $5 / each, available at each school Main Office and Langhorne Harvest Day. Drawing 11/8.

Bertucci's Dining for Dollars
Tuesday, November 6 (Election Day) and Wednesday, November 7 at the Oxford Valley Mall Bertucci's location.

News from our schools

Pearl S. Buck Elementary School

Constitution Day celebrated in song

Constitution Day at Buck Elementary

Third-and fourth-grade students celebrated Constitution Day September 17 by gathering in the cafeteria for a patriotic singalong (rain prevented an outdoor celebration by the flagpole). The students sang the "National Anthem" and "My Country 'Tis of Thee" to honor the 231st anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School

Summer readers enjoy an in-school carnival

Reading Carnival at Ferderbar Elementary

Students who participated in the summer reading program at Ferderbar were treated to an in-school carnival on September 26. To complete the program the students had to read 12 books, 3 non-fiction articles and write 10 journal entries. The carnival included games, snacks and prizes.

Herbert Hoover Elementary School

Book Exchanges open reading horizons

Hoover Book Exchange and Tailgate Party
Book Exchange and Tailgate Party
Hoover staff members want to create a community of leaders, readers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, and problem-solvers this year. One way that we are going to do this is by promoting student book exchanges throughout the year. Here is how the Book Exchanges  worked: When students came to Hoover on September 28 for the PTO Ice-Cream Social, they brought the book that they picked up at the Tailgate Party and exchanged it for another book.

Vote for Hoover students at Peddler's Village

Students in Jaimie Salt's class are creating a "Growing Awareness" project that they are going to enter in the Peddler's Village Scarecrow contest. The Neshaminy community can support these creative students by voting for their "Growing Awareness" project at Peddler's Village in Lahaska between October 10 and 28. They are listed under Group Category 18.

Walter Miller Elementary School

Reading Week activities honored

In May the teachers and students at Walter Miller celebrated Children’s Book Week in a variety of ways—“Read Me” Day, “We Read, Too! Can You Guess Who?”, and voting for the Children’s Choice Awards, to name a few. The Children’s Book Council chose Walter Miller Elementary as a winner for one of the best Children’s Book Week Activities and Display Contest winners. For their fine effort, the school received a box full of books, including the books nominated for the Children’s Choice Awards.

Reading teachers Catherine Riley and Kelly Dougherty were responsible for organizing the week's activities.

New running club inspires girls

Miller running club

Walter Miller ES teachers Jodi Arnold and Katrina Hunt formed a great group of girls to coach a Girls on the Run club. Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Meeting twice a week, the coaches teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Important social, psychological, and physical skills and abilities are developed and reinforced throughout the program. At the conclusion of the season, the girls will complete a 5K on November 17th.

Albert Schweitzer Elementary School

Garden Club beautifies Schweitzer entrance

The Garden Club at Albert Schweitzer took advantage of one of the few sunny days in September to add mulch and plants in front of the school. The group worked on the area around the sign, flagpole, and the garden by the Little Library and bench by the front entrance to the school.
Schweitzer Garden Club
Schweitzer Garden Club

The club is organized by Instructional Assistant Mary Ellen Pulak and meets during the school day at recess. They occassionally receive assistance on their projects from the Service Learning Club at Schweitzer.

CARES picnic starts a great year

The Schweitzer community held a Welcome Back CARES picnic Friday, September 21. Students and their families joined Schweitzer staff to welcome the 2018-2019 school year. Families came picnic-style with blankets and enjoyed time together meeting with familiar friends and families as well as new families to Schweitzer. There was a food truck and Kona ice truck available as well as a 50/50 and CARES Spirit Stick sale. CARES (Cooperation, Attitude, Respect, Empathy, Safety) is the positive behavior program at Schweitzer.

Tawanka Elementary School

All-teacher band recruits young musicians

tawanka music demonstration

Tawanka 3rd and 4th grade students had the opportunity to watch  a band made up of District music teachers perform the different instruments available to elementary students in the Neshaminy School District. The group gathers at the beginning of each school year to build interest in instrumental music and demonstrate options students may have not yet considered. As a finale, the group performs several recognizable songs together. Over two days, they visited all six elementary schools in the district to present this fun, informative program.

Summer program inspires readers - and writers

Over 100 students participated in the summer reading program at Tawanka. Besides reading a number of books, the students also kept a journal, writing everything from their vacation memories to original stories.

Maple Point Middle School

Speakers bring Constitution Day to life

Speakers at Maple Point Middle School

The 231st anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution was celebrated across the nation September 17. Students at Maple Point Middle School were treated to assemblies featuring community presenters who embody the purpose and ideals of the Constitution every day.  Pennsylvania Rep. Frank Farry spoke to fifth-grade students; PA Sen. Tommy Tomlinson spoke to 6th grade students;  US Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and Middletown Township Board of Supervisors Chairperson Amy Strouse shared the spotlight for a 7th-grade presentation; Middletown Township Police Chief  Joe Bartorilla spoke about law enforcement and justice to 8th grade students. Tom Sofield from LevittownNow also spoke to a smaller group of 8th grade students about Freedom of the Press in the library. What a better way to learn about our Constitution than from those who live it every day?

Poquessing Middle School

Debbie Flick award photo

Teacher honored for life-saving actions

Poquessing Middle School music teacher Debbie Flick was honored by the Lower Southampton Township Board of Supervisors in September for her quick thinking and actions that saved a fifth-grade student last spring. Debbie applied the Heimlich maneuver to a student who was choking during lunch in the school cafeteria. Ms. Flick will also be honored by the Neshaminy School Board at their October 9 meeting.

Choir selected to perform at regional conference

Poquessing Select Choir

The Poquessing Middle School Select Choir was selected to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association / National Association for Music Education  Eastern Division Conference on April 4th, 2019 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The NAfME Eastern Division is comprised of PMEA and twelve other state associations for music educators in the Northeast.  Of the nearly 200 submissions to this conference, Poquessing's Select Choir was chosen to share middle school choral music with hundreds of music educators from this region of the country.

Carl Sandburg Middle School

Reading teachers expand literary horizons

Members of Carl Sandburg’s  English Department joined thousands of teachers across the country for a three-month event called Book Love: Summer Book Club.  This event was hosted by Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher, two of the country’s leaders in the literacy world.  The course included reading, online discussion, live video chats with young adult authors, planning for a student-focused year, re-planning and reflection.

Starting last May and ending in August, Jessica Giblin, Mary Grace Buckwalter, and MaryLou Sienko explored newer publications of young adult fiction, non-fiction, and professional texts.  Book Love turned out to be a ‘course,’ richly balanced with scientific theory behind providing choice to our young readers, teaching techniques, and  practical methods of matching kids to the right book.

As teachers of English and Reading, these educators believe in the power of reading to transport students to places they’ve never been, challenge their current ideas and thoughts, and build background for their futures. Therefore, they chose this summer work to  help develop “Depth, Stamina, and Passion” in Sandburg readers.

Neshaminy High School

College Fair draws 71 colleges and universities

National Honor Society College Fair

The 5th Annual National Honor Society College Fair drew a record number of representatives from schools, colleges and universities from throughout the region and the nation on September 24. Hundreds of students and their families filled Gym 1 at Neshaminy HS to get information on programs, majors, financial aid, scholarships and more during the two-hour event.

Members of the Neshaminy High School chapter of the National Honor Society contacted the schools and arranged the visits.

NHS junior attends national athletic leadership conference

Junior Alexandria Ziegler was one of only six student-athletes from across Pennsylvania by the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) chosen to attend the National Student Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana this summer with other students from across the country.  The conference took place July 23-25, 2018.  While there, she gained first hand experience in topics such as Perspective & Inclusion, Brain Mapping, and Effective Communication with Teammates and Adults to name a few. She hopes to apply some of what she has learned through participation in soccer and basketball. The group also participated in the Special Olympics Unified Sports Experience with the Indiana Special Olympics.

First Responders honored at Harry E. Franks Stadium

First Responders at NHS football game

Police officers, firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians from throughout the District were invited on the field during the varsity football game Friday, September 14 in recognition of their service to the District and the entire Neshaminy community. The most recent Football Hall of Fame inductees were also presented: Samuel Spadaccino; Stephen Brett; Sheila Murphy (former Athletic Director, administrator and coach); Tom McEowen; Christopher Daino and Georg Coleman.

Neshaminy Update is published monthly during the school year and distributed to the Neshaminy community via email and web. To submit comments, suggestions or news items for consideration, please email Chris Stanley, Community Relations Coordinator.
Neshaminy School District
2250 Langhorne-Yardley Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
Joseph Jones III
(215) 809-6000
Neshaminy School Board
of Directors
Marty Sullivan - President
Bob Feather - Vice President
John Allen
Cyndie Bowman
Irene M. Boyle
Tina Hollenbach
Adam J. Kovitz
David Marrington
Stephen Pirritano

Mission Statement
The Neshaminy community builds futures by empowering each child to become a productive citizen and a lifelong learner.